Fix Backup Exec 2012
We have used the Backup Exec product for many years now and have kept up with all the updates. For us it was a great product, took care of itself, and really saved us time and energy.
Now we have gone forward with Backup Exec 2012 and do indeed like the new user interface and many of the core parts of the system. However, the features needed for day to day operation are lacking and managing the system is a major chore.
We have worked with support, and they have been helpful. They understand the problems but at this point Symantec sees this lack of functionality as the way it works and these items are "feature enhancements". Upon their suggestion we are placing them here since they claim the developer teams read these and this might make a difference.
Since there are so many issues, we are placing them all in one message rather than taking the time to break them apart. We hope there are "resolutions" to these very soon.
Here you go:
BACKUP STORAGE MANAGEMENT
- After a job runs there is no connection between the job run and the backup set that was created. So, for example, you have a run of a job that is 128GB before an error of some sort ended the job. The next day the job runs fine and you wish to free the 128GB from the failed job. No way to do it. The next problems listed are uncovered in an attempt to do this.
- In the display for the "backup to disk" folder, you can click on "Backup Sets". Now try to find the backup set for the machine as noted above. You cannot sort, filter, cut or paste anything on this display. The information is random so the best you can do is read every single one to guess the set that went with the job you are trying to free up.
- In the display for the "server" display the "Backup Sets". There is no way to display the sets grouped by the job. It is displayed by ""Backup Source" and so you see the disk drives, system state, databases and clicking under them you see dates, then clicking under that you see a set, and finally you can click the line and delete the item. BUT: You have to know the date the job ran and if it ran past midnight, one resource could be under one date, the other under another date. So you can GUESS. This display could be set up to show by job or be able to somehow sort.
- So you have been doing backups with a retention period of 3 weeks. Now we are switching to a retention period of 2 weeks. There is NO WAY to change the retention period for existing backup sets. So again we have to do some complex task to attempt to track down the unneeded backup sets as outline above. There should be a way to select, and change the retention period of existing jobs.
- Doing a final backup for a decommissioned machine, you want to save that final backup for some time. Again due to the issues outline above there is no sure way to locate all the "resources" and mark for retention. Again, you can view the media sets by the machine and click away one at time and set the "retain" flag.
- Speaking of the retain. There is no way to edit the reason for the retention. You must remove the "retention" and then re-add it. Again, there are multiple "resources" for the backup so you have to do this multiple times.
- The reports for "backup to disk" folders need to be made usable. You cannot get any report on the backup storage "backup sets". As Symantec indicates, those reports only work for tape media. Again, we tried this due to issue 1 above. We can live without this if we could figure out and access the "backup sets" per job run.
- The use of Storage Pools has been completely neutered. As per Symantec, when a backup job is going to a pool, if the "backup to disk" folder runs out of space it will NOT continue the job on another drive in the pool. This has increased our cost of backup storage since we had to buy more disk to keep a pad on each drive. This is a very BIG issue which adds to the management costs to watch over Backup Exec 2012.
MANAGEMENT OF JOBS
- There is no way to cancel a job that is queued to run and waiting for a backup device to become available. In effect, you have to sit and wait for the device to get a backup device and then cancel it. If you have a number of jobs waiting you waste hours playing whack a mole as each job moves to the run state.
- You cannot cancel a job that is on hold. This was an attempt to resolve item 1 above, hold the job and then cancel it. Does not work. And the job will run any time you remove it from hold.
- The new automatic discovery process is great. However, we know a machine is not to be backed up and remove it, it comes back when the next discovery is run. There should be some way to note that. We have administrators trying to install agents on what are "new" machines when earlier they were removed from Backup Exec 2012. In effect, the great feature is made far less useful than before.
MANAGEMENT OF ALERTS
- To assign an email address to an "Alert Category" even though you visually "select" multiple alerts, only the first one gets modified. You must go one by one to assign an email address.
- To assign "Category Properties" again, this is a one by one event. You can not disable a group of alerts you must go one by one.
JOB LOGS /JOB HISTORY
- The information provided is not clear and in many cases misleading. The message "Failed authorization check the user name and password used to access this resource." is the message reported in the log when a machine is off-line during the backup window. Our administrators spent time checking all the user ids trying to resolve this.
- The error "Physical Volume Library Media not found." give on information on what volume what file or anything useful to help determine the problem. And since there is no link between a job and the media set as outline before, we are left searching in the dark.
At this point we will stop. We have more "feature" requests. We have spent over two weeks of using this product and noting the feature gaps. We are hopeful that Symantec's Development team and get these features in and the product back on track.
Please note, that we are looking for ways to do the job. It would be great if your time has better ways to access the functionality outlined.
Again, currently we are committed to Backup Exec 2012 so remain hopeful these "features" are forthcoming into the product.
Thanks again if you need clarification on any of these items, don't hesitate to get touch.